Competition is fierce in every industry today. With every business scrambling to find an advantage in the marketplace, smart businesses have discovered the wisdom of using custom promotional products.
Using promotional products to market your business is easier today than ever before. With literally thousands of different customizable products available, it’s easy to find the right product or combination of products to improve your bottom line.
Promotional products can make a difference to just about any kind of business if used properly. They can boost employee morale, help reduce turnover, increase sales and raise brand awareness. They’re an economical way to gain that edge that every business is looking for.
A (Very) Short History of Promotional Products
While it’s not clear when promotional products began, the roots of the organization to promote their use date to 1904. At that time, a dozen manufacturers of products used to advertise other products formed the Advertising Manufacturers Association, a trade group. That organization evolved into the Promotional Products Association International, which now boasts more than 14,000 members who are manufacturers or distributors of promotional products.
What That Means for YOUR Business
All those PPAI members offer nearly a million custom promotional products. That means there’s bound to be one – or more – that’s the ideal way to promote your company’s products or services. No matter what you sell, there’s a way to promote it.
Any retail sales position can be enhanced through the use of custom patches for employee uniforms and/or custom imprinted lanyards. These are a subtle way to boost brand awareness, and also help customers identify your staff.
Lanyards are ideal for just about any organization that requires staff, students, visitors, customers or vendors to carry I.D. badges. Unlike clip-on badge holders, they don’t fall off easily. Unlike pin-on badge holders, they don’t damage clothing. They’re a fast, easy, comfortable way to keep I.D. badges visible and at hand.
Custom apparel is also an outstanding way to promote your logo. If you sell virtually any product today, you can promote it on a custom tee shirt. Look around. Tee shirts are virtually everywhere today. Schools, malls, downtown squares, restaurants, theaters, wherever you look. They’re especially well-suited to casual or youth-oriented products.
If you need a more professional look, consider custom printed polo shirts. They’re at home in just about any business environment today, from the sales floor to the boardroom to the country club. A small custom imprint will quietly keep your brand in the customers’ minds as you converse, make a presentation or even just have lunch together.
Choosing the Right Products
Consider several factors when selecting custom promotional products. Remember, these items will represent your brand to the public. Ask:
- What do we want to achieve with this product?
- How is this product relevant to our business?
- Will this product be cost-effective for the company?
- Is this product of sufficiently high quality to represent the brand?
A reputable promotional product supplier can help you answer those questions. They can advise which products are best for your intended use.
Take the questions one at a time. Start with what you want the product you want to achieve. Are you looking for a way to keep your logo in front of customers, or do you want a more direct call to action?
Next, consider relevance. What about the product will prompt customers to think of your brand or logo and buy your product or service?
The question of cost-effectiveness depends on the product and the distribution. A high-value item such as a custom insulated tumbler laser engraved with your logo is highly cost-effective as a gift for a valued customer, vendor or salesperson. Custom lanyards, patches, and wristbands are far better for trade show giveaways.
Finally, give great weight to the quality of the promotional products you give away. Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable giving away your promotional products to a close friend or relative. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get high-quality items. A good supplier can steer you toward high-quality products – in any category – that won’t break the bank.
A great example of low priced products that can make a great impression is custom tote bags. When imprinted with your logo or brand and distributed at trade shows, conventions, and conferences, they’re an excellent means to increase your brand awareness. The more you give away, the more people will see your logo throughout the length of the conference.
One way to enhance your brand is by contributing to community causes, whether for disaster relief, school fundraising or special local events. If you want to raise funds for a worthy cause, custom wristbands are the way to go. Imprint the cause message on the outside, your business name on the inside, and buy them for pennies apiece. Sell them for $5 each and the cash adds up fast.
The key to successfully using promotional products is to give people perceived value. Don’t waste their time with a common product that’s like every other. Don’t give them a cheap throwaway pen with your name on it, for example. Give them a good-quality pen – gel ink, perhaps -- with a built-in tablet stylus and they’ll see the value. They’ll also associate that value with your brand.
No matter which promotional products you choose, select a dependable supplier. Look for a company that offers a wide range of products to give you the best selection to choose from. With almost a million custom products to choose from, you need a provider who can recommend what will work best for your needs.
Look for a promotional products provider that’s been in business long enough to have established a record of satisfied customers. Choose a company that offers upfront pricing and has a 100% guarantee on their products.
With the right supplier, using promotional products to market your business is easy. You’ll be amazed at what the right mix of products can do to keep your brand fresh in your customers’ minds. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Remember, if you don’t, your competitors will.